Symes is new agri­cul­ture min­is­ter – maybe

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

Up­per house MP Ja­clyn Symes has been an­nounced as Vic­to­ria’s new Agri­cul­ture, Re­gional De­vel­op­ment and Re­sources Min­is­ter in Daniel An­drew’s new gen­der-equal min­istry.

But Ms Symes will have to wait for con­fir­ma­tion of her elec­tion to the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil be­fore she can step into the role.

With 72.6 per cent of the vote counted as Coun­try News went to press, Ms Symes is sit­ting fifth on the five-per­son rep­re­sen­ta­tion for North­ern Vic­to­ria.

In front of her is Lib­eral Wendy Lovell, her La­bor col­league Mark Gepp, Tim Quilty (Lib­eral Democrats) and Ta­nia Ma­ree Max­well (Der­ryn Hinch Jus­tice Party).

While the fi­nal votes are be­ing counted, Jaala Pulford will re­tain her role as Agri­cul­ture and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter.

Ms Pulford will be­come Min­is­ter for Roads, Road Safety and Fish­ing and Boat­ing fol­low­ing the reshuf­fle.

Lisa Neville will keep the water min­istry in the new cab­i­net.

In the lower house, Bendigo East in­cum­bent Jac­inta Allen has in­creased her lead by 7.1 per cent after 89.7 per cent of the vote counted.

De­spite La­bor pick­ing up some ground, Eil­don’s Lib­eral can­di­date Cindy McLeish is set to hold on, while in Euroa Na­tional’s can­di­date Steph Ryan is one per cent bet­ter off com­pared to the 2014 bal­lot.

Ms Ryan wasn’t the only Na­tion­als can­di­date likely to have suc­cess, with Peter Walsh (Mur­ray Plains) and Tim McCurdy (Ovens Val­ley) likely to join Ms Ryan in the Vic­to­rian Par­lia­ment.

While in Shep­par­ton, in­de­pen­dent Suzanna Sheed looks likely to re­tain her seat ahead of Lib­eral can­di­date Ch­eryl Ham­mer, who is one of her party’s bet­ter per­form­ing can­di­dates.

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